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Old 02-26-2012, 04:35 AM   #1
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Default First AG brew!

Well, after 5 successful extract brews on the stovetop, decided to make the jump to all-grain. For my first batch I went with an amber ale of my own design. Hit about 72-73% efficiency double batch sparging with the cooler and hose braid setup, pretty happy with that for first go, hit my mash temp of 152 dead on and didn't lose a degree over the hour Pitched my starter of Pacman that I harvested from a few 12oz bottles of Rogue Mocha Porter and already starting to bubble a few hours later

img0090ru.jpg   img0093nv.jpg   img0099cp.jpg   img0100rly.jpg   img0108q.jpg  

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Old 02-26-2012, 04:43 AM   #2
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More pictures... Only problems was the chiller I bought the fittings were like epoxied on instead of soldered, and the inlet fitting of course loosened up and leaked when chilling, got a tad bit of water into the boil near the beginning until I was able to adjust the faucet until it was just dripping out instead of spraying into the wort. Will need to fix that before next brew day and I seriously don't understand why the fittings were epoxied instead of soldered.

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Old 02-26-2012, 04:54 AM   #3
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Looks good. Might watch out for an exploding air lock. That carboy looks very full!

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Old 02-26-2012, 05:00 AM   #4
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Just over 5.25 gallons in a 6ish gallon carboy. Blowoff tube attached down into container of sanitizer for the first few days

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Old 02-26-2012, 05:17 AM   #5
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Did not see blow off tube. Looks good!

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Old 02-26-2012, 05:26 AM   #6
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I'd say those fittings were epoxied because they aren't the right type of fitting. They look like brass hose barbs. They could be soldered, but soldering brass to copper is a little more tricky than copper to copper. I made my own chiller and I soldered copper, threaded fittings on the coil and then screwed on threaded garden hose fittings. I also had leak issues with my set-up before I did this... Everything looks pretty good! You'll be happy with AG!

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Old 02-26-2012, 05:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stauffbier View Post
I'd say those fittings were epoxied because they aren't the right type of fitting. They look like brass hose barbs. They could be soldered, but soldering brass to copper is a little more tricky than copper to copper. I made my own chiller and I soldered copper, threaded fittings on the coil and then screwed on threaded garden hose fittings. I also had leak issues with my set-up before I did this... Everything looks pretty good! You'll be happy with AG!
Thanks, that makes sense. For the price of the chiller I'm not too upset, just was freaking out near the end of the boil when I thought I wasn't going to be able to use the chiller. I'm thinking about sealing up the fitting with jb weld, it never touches the wort and can withstand constant 500F maximum so I should be good there. My outlet fitting didn't have any issues
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:40 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by underdog378 View Post
Thanks, that makes sense. For the price of the chiller I'm not too upset, just was freaking out near the end of the boil when I thought I wasn't going to be able to use the chiller. I'm thinking about sealing up the fitting with jb weld, it never touches the wort and can withstand constant 500F maximum so I should be good there. My outlet fitting didn't have any issues
I tried something similar to JB Weld, but it couldn't hold the pressure, so that is when I decided to brush up on my soldering skills.
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:24 AM   #9
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Just an update, took a gravity reading today about a week later. Wish I would've taken a picture of the beer, the color is spot on what I was looking for, I'll get one when it's finished!

Anyways, seems finished at about 1.014. (Mashed at 152) Was very pleased with the Pacman that I harvested. I was off and running a couple hours after pitching my starter, had a very active fermentation for about 2 days, slowed down on the 3rd day and by the end of day 4 the yeast had started dropping out and now a week later the krausen has completely dropped minus a few small yeast rafts and is practically crystal clear. I have used mostly 1056 in my first few brews and hadn't seen this kind of floculation before.

Sample tasted really good, clean fermentation from the pacman it seems, the hops seem to balance out the sweetness well in my slightly hoppy amber, and I think this might be my best one yet. Most of my beers one week in tasted decent but definitely a little harsh. This one I could practically sit down and drink a couple pints of the warm uncarbonated beer, lol. I think 2 more weeks in primary and then off to the keg!

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Old 03-05-2012, 08:13 AM   #10
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Solid. The only thing I see is that the boil kettle should be covered (IMHO) for the 50min or whatever of chilling. (I actually drape it with tinfoil as well as being covered, because the lid is ajar from the chiller.) I suppose you just took the lid off to take the picture. Surely. And did you keep that spoon in the wort the whole time sanitized, or mess with it in and out during the chill? (Dear God, can’t you see those fungi spores in the air everywhere? Plain as day!)

But that’s just me. I’m hyper sensitive to everything in the house 10min before flame-off. It’s a mindset – like riding a motorcycle, “They all want to kill me.”

Stauffbier has a good point about the brass to copper. Some recon warns that brass takes a lot longer to heat up. (Make sure you take out the rubber washers before you sweat/solder). You should take it completely apart and clean the joints entirely vs. just trying to spot patch. Definitely.

All personal opinion. Good luck!

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